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Crafts have always been a big part of my life. They have been my obsession yet kept me sane. My latest obsession is crochet. Wool and the finished products have taken over the house. A blog seems like the next step in my woolie journey wherever that takes me. Feel free to pop in and see what I am up to.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Unsung Skills

I've been thinking a lot about this since reading Oliver Burkeman's column in the Guardian on Sunday.

Unsung skills are those skills that have become so second nature to us to that we have forgotten they are skills and they have become invisible.  So true!

My problem has always been how can I make a living from my skills.  Unfortunately making money from my skills is a skills I'm not very proficient at!

But then occasionally, someone comes along who hasn't those skills, needs them and suddenly they are highly praised, visible and useful skills and 'worth' takes on a whole new meaning.  And I can't help wondering if our skills develop because of praise or need from others, or purely from our own personal interests?  The old psychological nature or nurture debate! So probably a mix of the two!

Anyhow I bumped into an old friend of mine in town last week and we spent hours over a coffee catching up.  She owns a little bricks and mortar craft shop and the recession is biting. We made an arrangement to meet at hers to do some brainstorming and see where she goes from here.  She was wondering about selling online and wanted advice.  So armed with mini laptop and good old fashioned paper and pen, we spent most of the day trashing out a marketing strategy to improve on what she has already instead of branching out into the unknown.

In the space of a few hours some of the skills utilized were (go make a cup of tea now - this could take a while) planning, driving, parking, social, tea making, listening, analytical, problem solving, technical, strategic, photographic, props, location, lighting, packaging, display, more tea making, analysis, design, colour consultation, texture consultation, graphics, IT, editing, graphic design, goal setting - to name but a few (and not all my skills I might add), and not even mentioning many of the sub-skills within those skills.  

It just wouldn't do to think like this all the time - work would never get done.  So maybe it's not such a bad thing when skills go unsung -it leaves us free just to get on with life and put those skills to good use and not waste them.


  1. I didn't know you had a blog too- yippee!!

    This is really interesting- I never thought of 'invisible skills' but it makes utter sense. It also makes sense in a learning context such as dyspraxia and autusm when the invisible skills have to remain visible in order for a person to access them. Ya got me thinkin' here!!

  2. A work in progress!!

    Yes - I guess it's all about automatic processes which are located in long-term memory and free up short-term/working memory for 'higher functions'. Children with dyslexia can take 8 times longer to learn things -exhausting!